When the University of Michigan Wolverines play Big Ten opponents in football, the video record of some plays can be reviewed by game officials – under conditions set forth by the conference. One kind of reviewable play is the completion of a forward pass: Did that player actually receive the ball from the quarterback in a way that, under the rules of American football, constitutes a completed pass than can be carried forward on the field of play?
Audio tape recording of the Feb. 17, 2009 Ann Arbor city council meeting – even though the Community Television Network video has gone missing, it's still possible to review what was said at the meeting. The Ann Arbor city clerk's office makes audio recordings of council meetings to ensure the accuracy of minutes. (Photo illustration by The Chronicle.)
For its proceedings, the Ann Arbor city council does not have a video replay rule.
But if it did, here’s the kind of play that might be reviewable: Did a city council-appointed board receive advice from the city’s financial quarterback in a way that, under ordinary rules of plain American English discourse, constitutes a recommendation that should be carried forward in a future board policy?
At issue is whether two seasons ago, back in February 2009, city of Ann Arbor CFO Tom Crawford recommended to the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority that the DDA have a policy to maintain a minimum fund balance as a reserve, and specifically, whether a minimum reserve amount was specified.
The question was important over the last two years in the course of negotiations between the DDA and the city about the contract under which the DDA manages Ann Arbor’s public parking system.
The remarks made by Crawford – which everyone seems to recall (albeit differently) – took place in plain view on the public field of play, at the Feb. 17, 2009 city council meeting.
What made the public conversation remarkable in the waning stages of contract negotiations, was that it was based on what the different players (including Crawford) recalled Crawford saying. Why not just take an approach familiar to the Big Ten college football conference, and review the tape to find out exactly what Crawford said? [Full Story]